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The Rose Journal

The Adventures of Gayle & John
Summer 1998

Ripper Moore is a member of The Free Lancers of the Cimmerian Combatives. He is a professional jouster. He is also a very good friend of mine. I like to make my friends lives memorable and fun (some of my regular readers may remember that I once asked anyone going to TRF to stop by the Pendragon booth and wish my friend Kyle a "Happy Birthday". It took Kyle weeks to figure out what was going on, and we all had a good time). This year we ... me and a lot of people I never met ... sent Roses to Ripper.

It started when I sent 3 roses -- one white, one fire & ice, one red -- to Ripper on his final day at Scarborough this year. The roses were sent "From A Lady" and each had a unique message:

Well, Ripper never figured out who sent that particular series of roses (he got several roses that last day from various personages). So I thought how cool this would be if I could manage to get roses delivered to him at different faires throughout the summer. I didn't want to involve any of the other members of the Free Lancers (very difficult to keep a secret like that when you see the person every day). After about 5 minutes of thought I realized the best way to do this would be to post a request on my web site and ask total strangers to send the roses.

It worked famously! I got a lot of responses (thank you all!) but by far the most dedicated of my "rose people" were Gayle & John Friel. They were responsible for roses at Kyng's Company, Ontario and Ohio. Along the way they got to meet Ripper and the other members of the Free Lancers and became my very good friends. This journal chronicles their adventures.

Sun Jun 14 20:34:34 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

June 7, 1998

Responding to Liz's favor, we attended the Kyng's Company faire in Streetsboro, Ohio. We enlisted the aide of the "Rose Lady" (who turned out to be a friend of ours from a previous faire year). After a brief explanation of what we wanted done, she was more than willing to help accomplish the favor. We had four roses delivered, with the fourth being a birthday rose. And, although there were variations to the color theme, the "Rose Lady" delivered each of them with an explanation of what color they were supposed to be and their meaning. At the end of the first day, the reports were that Ripper was very confused and had no idea who was sending the roses.

Sun Jun 14 20:43:2 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

June 13, 1998

Gayle delivering a rose to Ripper Again, carrying out our mission, we had four roses delivered to Ripper. And, after each delivery, we received a report that he was curious to know who was sending the roses. To add to his confusion, I delivered an extra rose in person from "a lady". I explained that it was from "a lady" but not from me. He knew something was up because my husband took pictures of the delivery. We talked with him for awhile and when we were done, he asked, "I don't suppose you can tell me who these are from?" Of course, we said "no" but told him that all would be revealed in due time. This poor man has no clue as to why this is happening! He is growing increasingly curious. This is so much fun and it's going so well that next week we plan to do all the deliveries in person!

Mon Jun 15 14:13:39 1998
liz ( ) writes ...

Men are so cute when they are confused!

When the roses were delivered to Ripper at Scarborough, I overheard him questioning Lily the rose girl: "Are you sure those were her exact words, or are they your words?" I never heard the words in question, nor did I hear Lily's reply. I was across the compound and thought it might have been too suspicious to stroll over and eavesdrop. I did hear Lily tell him "I'll be back!" as she left the compound. By the end of the day, every time Ripper went inside one of the buildings and then came back out, someone would call out "Hey, Ripper! The rose girl was here looking for you!"

Fri Jun 19 1:9:44 1998
liz ( ) writes ...

It's time to start leaving clues for Ripper!

Here are some alternate lines that can be used for the deliveries.

"From a Lady who knows there are at least 3 good things in Ohio" - Ripper told me that there were exactly two good things in Ohio ... a bar, the name of which I can't remember, and King's Island. I told him he was wrong, there were 3 good things in Ohio ... he was the third!

"From a Lady who knows the proper way to eat caramel" - from someone else's fingers!

If Ripper figures it out from either of these clues, and asks you to confirm or deny, just smile and say "I'm not allowed to say."

Sun Jun 21 19:33:23 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

June 20, 1998

On our mission again, we began by personally delivering a white rose to Ripper along with a specially selected clue. We chose "a rose from a Lady who knows the proper way to serve caramel, with the fingers". This was a most excellent clue, or give away as we found out. With this clue, Ripper asked if the Lady was Liz from Scarborough. Of course, we neither confirmed nor denied the name. He continued on to describe Liz' car, small, red, kind of sports car and that she photographed the joust in Scarborough. He obviously has done some serious thinking except he could not come up with a last name. After this information, he expected us to tell him if he was correct. He's got a lot of nerve! We told him that we have not met the "Lady" and we weren't sure of her name, and we have only conversed via e-mail. Not too big of a whopper was it? Gayle & Ripper

Not wanting to be questioned again (at least for awhile) we went back to third party delivery service. We were afraid we might slip and give it away. So, with the delivery of the next rose, we sent another clue asking "have you learned how to lace a bodice yet"? We HAD enlisted a rose "Lady" to deliver this one but Ripper was back in the compound so she had to have the rose "man" deliver the rose with the question. It's probably a good thing that we don't know what the response to that one was. The third rose we had delivered "from a Lady", a little uncreative because the sun and heat had sapped our brain by that time. We had the opportunity to meet and talk with Kate Cox (very nice lady). We were informed that there were at least three females, from three different states, who had come to visit (yeah right) Ripper. Good thing Kate's there to keep things from getting out of hand. We shot a few more pictures, one right after a personal delivery. This was to be our final visit to Kyng's Company, however, the Sheriff of the Shire graciously provided us with passes for closing day. With passes, we could not pass up the chance to make a few more rose deliveries. All in all, another great day.

Sun Jun 21 20:3:52 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

June 21, 1998

Okay, our last entry (for Kyng's Company that is). We began this hot and humid day by personally delivering a white rose to Ripper and wishing him "Happy Birthday" (which is today). He didn't have much to say about the delivery because he was preoccupied in conversation with other people including Spencer and our friend the Sheriff (Larry). His only comment was that he was "older than dirt". Of course, we all know that's a HUGE lie (his nose even grew longer on that one). We did get more pictures. Gayle & Kate & John

We took lots of pictures. One in particular includes Spencer and the Sheriff. We also got a picture of John with Ripper ( hope it turns out okay, I took it). We immediately had another annonymous delivery done from "a Lady". The third one had to be delivered by a man from "a Lady" because Ripper just does not get out and about much during the day. He's usually out for a short time in the morning (sounds like a dog doesn't it).

The joust today around 3:00 was the MOST exciting and scary (not to say that the other jousts weren't great) we've seen since the beginning of the faire. This one was extra special, everyone sang "happy birthday" before the joust. Ripper must have been in rare form because, during one pass, he knocked off one of his opponents' pauldrons exposing his shoulder. Of course, they continued to make passes (not those kind) until Ripper actually knocked his opponent off his horse! It was a spectacular sight! Ripper, a true champion. We hope the photos turn out. We also got a picture of us with "Mom" (Ripper's protector) since she knows who we are and why we're there. Hope she can keep the secret. Until Canada.....

Mon Jun 22 16:11:26 1998
liz ( ) writes ...

Ripper described my car?! When has he ever seen my car? ... Oh, yeah, the evening a group came up for dinner and he hung my bicyle up for me (not that I need help hanging the bike, but if someone offers, I generally don't turn 'em down). My car was in the garage. Gee, Baby (that's my car's name) will be impressed at being called a small sports car. Lately it's been more like a small pickup (SAABs are great for hauling dogs, lumber, an entire pond full of plants, etc).

However, it's not surprising that Ripper couldn't come up with my surname. I don't think he's ever heard it! I'm just "Liz" or maybe "Liz the Junkie" to everyone down at Scarborough.

So Ripper is sure he knows who's sending the roses. Just because he happens to be correct doesn't mean any of us have to admit to anything. We've got a 3 week break before Ontario, and in that time I'm going to be sending batches of photos and portraits up to the Free Lancers (fulfilling my duties as photographer and webmaster). Think I'm going to mention roses? Not on your life! Can I sneak in a few "ringer" photos from Kyng's Company? You betcha! But will Ripper say anything to me about roses? If he does, can I lie convincingly? Without breaking out in a fit of giggles? I think I can, I think I can ...

Fri Aug 7 11:6:10 1998
liz ( ) writes ...

Well, I did it! I re-arranged my travel plans and managed to turn my trip to Maryland into a Maryland/Ohio dual adventure! I'll be at Ohio on closing weekend. There are 2 reasons for this: it's the perfect way to end the Rose Adventures, and I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THE OHIO FAIRE and I really, really want to play at the faire and meet all my Ohio friends. So if you can at all make it for closing weekend in Ohio, please do. I'll give Ripper the final roses myself, and then we can all go play. There will be photo opportunities galore (since I'll want photos with everyone ... and a group shot of whoever can make it).

Wed Aug 12 18:20:36 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

August 8 & 9, 1998

We made our trip to Canada for the Ontario Renaissance Faire. Boy, for only 3 years old, the faire site is fantastic! Of course, our main purpose for this trip was Ripper. Unfortunately, all rose deliveries had to be done by a third party because we never saw ANY of the jousters outside their compound (they really need to get out more and socialize)! We were very disappointed that we were unable to make deliveries in person. When we were in Colorado in June visiting Carolyn, she gave us a special favor to deliver to Ripper. It too had to be delivered by a third party (we think her name was Loren, she likes grapes, and she knows Carolyn and Ripper). She was more than happy to deliver Carolyn's favor. By the way, Ripper wanted to know who it came from but she refused to tell him.

The closest we came to seeing Ripper was during the jousts. It appeared that Ripper spotted us at one of the jousts and acknowledged that he recognized us. At least that was something (a little bread crumb for us).

In case you're wondering, the tournament jousting was great! But, you probably already knew that!

Next trip, Ohio, several times. We must continue our mission. And, of course, we're looking forward to Maryland. See you there!

Thu Sep 3 19:50:16 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

August 29 & 30, 1998

We attended opening weekend at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Ripper escorted the Queen, in a carriage, to the front entrance for the opening ceremony. Ripper looked dashing in his new garb! Lisa & Ripper And the Queen was absolutely lovely and she has the personality to match.

We made arrangements to send three roses each day to Ripper. They had a very nice selection of colors. The first day, we had them sent "from a Lady". The second day we also had them sent that way with the last one "I will see you soon". We hope this added a little intrigue to this mystery. Since we acquainted ourselves with the Queen and since Ripper was the Queen's champion, she was more than willing to put us in touch with him for photo ops. We know that he has received roses from people other than us! This is great knowing others have joined in. Now we hope these people will make some journal entries. On our next trip to Ohio, we plan to make personal rose deliveries, with the Queen's help if necessary. At least at this faire, Ripper gets out a little more (he's more accessable). Till closing weekend (if not sooner), let's keep the fun and suspense going.

Wed Sep 23 19:10:14 1998
John & Gayle Friel ( ) writes ...

Sept. 19, 1998 Cece & Gayle

This trip, we drove to the faire just for the day. As usual, we made arrangements to have roses delivered to Ripper. We would have prefered to deliver in person but he was no where to be found (at the time). We scheduled three separate deliveries with the Rose Lady (Cece). In talking with Cece, we found out she is the one who has delivered ALL of the roses to Ripper at the Ohio Faire. She even remembered our accompanying messages, especially "I will see you soon"! On that note, Cece would like to help us (Liz) plan a special presentation for closing weekend. Hum, that will take some serious thought! Think about it. Great minds should be able to come up with something memorable! Until closing weekend...

Sat Oct 17 21:6:10 1998
liz ( ) writes ...

Ah, the perfect way to end the adventure! Gayle & John met me in Wilmington (we all stayed at the General Denver hotel) and joined me at the faire. Even though we were standing in the first row of patrons at opening gate, Ripper did not see us as he rode past with Lisa (the Queen). Once inside the gates, we made our way down to the Jousters' Encampment to say "Hello!" to everyone. Ripper came out and gave me a big hug! Then he asked me if I was responsible for sending him roses all summer. The exchange went something like this...
"Who, me?" I asked.
"Yes, you." he said.
"Am I going to get in trouble if I admit to anything?"
"OK, then I admit it. I did it."

Ripper was most pleased to know that he was right in thinking I had sent the roses. He said that once he'd figured out who was behind it, he just enjoyed the experience.

The last rose, a fire & ice rose since that is Ripper's favorite, was delivered by me later in the day. That was actually the first rose that I ever gave to Ripper in person. A very good ending for a great adventure!

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